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Songs for Our Mothers

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Album Review

On their first album, Fat White Family sounded like they could be a group of bitter, homeless alcoholics who took to making music on battered gear found in a house where they were squatting. Three years later, the group made something of a creative shift; on 2016's Songs for Our Mothers, those winos have purchased a cheap but reliable rhythm machine and started dabbling in club music. Granted, "Whitest Boy on the Beach" and "Hits Hits Hits" are the only tunes where they make full use of their new toy, but the queasy face-off between the proto-disco groove on "Whitest Boy" and the wheeze of the group's vocals (mixed low enough to make most of the lyrics unintelligible) is made to order for a band that enjoys making people uncomfortable. And while "Hits Hits Hits" is too slow for the dancefloor, the song's references to domestic violence (including invoking the names of Ike and Tina) should challenge most listeners. Fat White Family's fearless embrace of bad taste and misanthropy was one of the hallmarks of their debut, Champagne Holocaust, and on Songs for Our Mothers they seem determined to up the ante. They hit their target, thanks to numbers like "Love Is the Crack," "Duce," and the closing "Goodbye Goebbels" (the latter imagining the final conversation between Hitler and his most loyal associate), but the highlight is "Tinfoil Deathstar," a tale of drug abuse that suggests heroin is one scourge Fat White Family might actually want to stamp out.


Formed: 2011 in Peckham, South London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Formed in a squat in Peckham in 2011, South London's Fat White Family comprised Lias Saoudi (vocals), Nathan Saudi (keyboard), Adam Harmer (guitar), Martin Dead (drummer), and Saul Adaczewski (guitar), who garnered critical and public adulation for their skuzzy mix of country, rock & roll, post-punk, and nihilistic psychedelia, recalling the likes of the Fall, the Birthday Party, Butthole Surfers, and Charles Manson. Following a series of highly charged and memorable gigs in 2013, the Brixton-based...
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Songs for Our Mothers, The Fat White Family
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